The value of mediastinoscopy in N staging of clinical N2 lung cancer

Rongxin Xiao, Yun Li, Hui Zhao, Xiao Li, Xun Wang, Jun Wang


Background: To determine the value of mediastinoscopy in N staging of lung cancer with clinical N2 disease.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 87 patients who received mediastinoscopy for known or suspected lung cancer, including 83 cervical mediastinoscopies and 4 parasternal mediastinoscopies. All patients were clinically staged N2 for enlarged ipsilateral mediastinal and/or subcarinal lymph nodes (short axis >1.0 cm) on computed tomography scan.
Results: Of the 87 patients, 61 cases proved to be N2 disease by mediastinoscopy; the other 26 mediastinoscopy-negative patients underwent thoracotomy for lung resection and mediastinal lymph node dissection in the same operation. Final pathologic N staging was consistent with mediastinoscopic sampling and surgical dissection in 24 patients, and N2 disease was found in 2 patients (false-negative by mediastinoscopy). The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of mediastinoscopy were 96.8%, 100%, and 97.7%, respectively. Among all 87 mediastinoscopic procedures, there was no mortality and only 1 complication (1.1%).
Conclusions: Mediastinoscopy is a highly effective and safe procedure for the mediastinal staging of lung cancer with clinical N2 disease.